Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
Due to thousands of defective hernia mesh implants, the FDA has announced the recall of many leading brands of hernia mesh. Of the 350,000 hernia repairs made in the United States each year, more than 100,000 involve hernia mesh implants. Often hastily approved by the Food and Drug Administration, many implants can cause harmful hernia mesh side effects such as severe infections and bowel obstructions, and hernia mesh recalls have been issued. Victims can seek payments for their losses with a hernia mesh complications lawsuit, which The Willis Law Firm can provide.
What is Hernia Mesh?
As for what is hernia mesh, it’s a sterile, woven surgical material made from synthetics such as gels or plastic-like polypropylene. Such material forms a bolstering patch which can be placed over or under a weakness in the body, such as a hernia, in an implant procedure. Similarly, transvaginal mesh (TVM) is used for women with weakened tissues due to pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
*Currently Accepting Surgery & Non-Surgery Hernia Mesh Cases*
Instead of using mesh products, hernia repair can be achieved by various forms of surgical sutures or repairs. Such sutures involve fewer complications, and most of those are minor. Yet many physicians choose instead to use hernia mesh, in part due to studies funded by mesh manufacturers which showed lower rates of hernia recurrence with mesh implants. These studies were self-serving and incomplete, failing to monitor patients for extended periods after implantation surgery and using vague definitions of “normal” complications.
Some physicians also have believed in out-of-date studies showing that polypropylene only led to harmful side effects when applied as a pelvic mesh. But such studies preceded today’s widespread use of laparoscopic surgery to implant hernia mesh more deeply into the abdomen, where it comes in contact with the bowel, in which case polypropylene can do harm.
Indeed, the body can be injured simply by coming in contact with the polypropylene of a hernia mesh implant. Yet many manufacturers continue to use polypropylene in their hernia mesh products despite a Safety Data Sheet on the material -- required by the federal government -- which prohibits its permanent implantation in the body. Besides offering a slightly smaller chance than sutures of hernia recurrence, mesh implants also may be advisable when a hernia is particularly large. For smaller hernias, repair via sutures is considered ideal.
And overall, tried and true suture repairs for hernias have proven more beneficial with fewer side effects than hernia mesh implants. Such implants can cause serious side effects, complications and injuries, including mesh erosion. Indeed, mesh products’ slightly smaller rate of hernia recurrence compared to sutures is more than offset by the severe hernia mesh complications which can ensue.
What is Hernia Mesh Erosion?
As for what is mesh erosion, that occurs when part of the mesh implant crumbles and tears away. Also called mesh exposure or mesh extrusion, this mesh defect can cause extreme discomfort and severe pain, leading to follow-up surgery. Even worse, complications from mesh erosion can persist even following mesh removal surgery.
Hernia Mesh Erosion Complications
A hernia mesh which erodes into a patient’s bowels can necessitate multiple follow-up surgeries and perhaps weeks of being hospitalized. Victims may need colostomies or partial bowel removal due to defective hernia mesh implants.
When mesh adheres to the bowel, it can cause bowel obstruction and an inability to defecate. Early symptoms can include nausea and diarrhea, followed by constipation and other changes in bowel habits. Eroded hernia mesh also can adhere to the stomach, causing abdominal pain. Clearly, some hernia mesh complications are life-threatening, and even if victims survive, they can be extremely costly. Injured Americans have a legal right to claim compensation with a hernia mesh lawsuit. Contact The Willis Law Firm today for a free legal review of your case.
Other Hernia Mesh Injuries
Besides mesh erosion, whether mesh is coated or not coated can be crucial in causing other mesh injuries. Coated mesh products have a higher rate of complications and infections than hernia mesh products which are not coated. Such coated mesh also is known as “composite mesh” and is the most risky form of hernia mesh products.
Even so, a shift from polypropylene mesh to even more dangerous coated or composite mesh occurred. Why? It occurred because polypropylene’s harmful side effects led to more mesh being coated as an allegedly safer “barrier” -- and the FDA allowed it, despite clear evidence it was also harmful. Most coated mesh now used in hernia repair is untested composite mesh which has been employed for a short span of time. As hernia mesh complications have increased along with the increased use of coated mesh, it’s clear that such composite mesh can cause problems.
Mesh injuries also can depend on where the mesh is placed on the body. For instance, hernia mesh can be used to treat and repair inguinal hernias, when an intestine bulges through weakened muscles in the groin area, and ventral hernias, when tissues bulge anywhere through openings in a weakened abdominal wall. Types of hernias also can include femoral hernias (high in the thigh); incisional hernias (at a previous surgical incision); recurrent hernias (at a previous hernia location); bilateral hernias (on the right and left side); and umbilical hernias (close to the navel, or belly button).
After mesh failure, a hernia usually protrudes once again, and that hernia can be quite a bit bigger than the original hernia. Then, not only must the new hernia be repaired, but often some muscle and abdominal tissue to which a failed mesh has adhered must be taken out.
More Hernia Mesh Complications
Mesh erosion also can cause systemic infections, including sepsis. Hernia mesh implant recipients also may experience dental infections and rotting teeth in association with mesh failure.
Still more hernia mesh complications and mesh side effects can include:
- Debilitating testicular, groin or leg pain from inguinal hernia mesh
- Severe headaches or other neurological changes
- Pain and aches in the joints due to systemic inflammation caused by infections, or due to an autoimmune disorder or autoimmune reaction to hernia mesh
- Pain during sexual activity, or dyspareunia, for men whose inguinal hernia mesh erodes into their spermatic cord. If such erosion proceeds too far, testical removal may be needed.
- Liver abnormalities
Why is Harmful Hernia Mesh Used?
You may be wondering why harmful hernia mesh is used. In the end, the answer comes down to the most common motivation of manufacturers: profits. Consider this: Mesh products are among the biggest money-makers of any medical devices in America. In a single year, mesh products can produce more than $100 million in profits for manufacturers.
When polypropylene hernia mesh proved unsafe, manufacturers rushed to fill the gap with allegedly safer composite, or coated, mesh. That could sell for up to 20 times more than non-coated polypropylene mesh. Of course, composite mesh also has proven to be unsafe. To combat this, manufacturers have simply issued mesh recalls or “withdrawals” for such products and then sold a different composite hernia mesh -- but with the same potential for harmful complications.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits are Needed
As a result, hernia mesh lawsuits are needed to protect the legal rights of innocent Americans who have been harmed by defective hernia mesh products and by the corporate greed which produced them. That’s not to say all hernia mesh products are harmful. It is to say that many of them are risky, and victims deserve justice. Contact The Willis Law Firm today for a free case review.
Hernia Mesh Recalls
One notably defective hernia mesh is the composite mesh product called Physiomesh. It’s produced by Ethicon, a subsidiary of corporate giant Johnson & Johnson. Ethicon withdrew Physiomesh from the market in the spring 2016. Ethicon insists that this withdrawal did not constitute a Physiomesh hernia mesh recall. But even if Ethicon voluntarily yanked its product off the global market, that doesn’t change the fact that Physiomesh products had become known for a thick coating on each side which precluded proper engagement with tissue.
Such defects led to many Physiomesh complications at a high rate, with more hernias and more surgeries ensuing. Keep in mind that Ethicon previously became known for similarly defective transvaginal mesh implants, which also were composed of polypropylene. Ethicon now can add to its list of lawsuits for defective transvaginal mesh still more lawsuits for Physiomesh hernia mesh. Other hernia mesh products have had outright mesh recalls. These include the Kugel hernia mesh from C.R. Bard, whose series of mesh recalls began in 2005. However, most hernia mesh products remain on the market, and the few which have been withdrawn were done so quietly and “voluntarily,” with no announced recall.
Get a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
Contact The Willis Law Firm today for your free case review, and consider engaging an experienced defective medical device lawyer or attorney for a hernia mesh lawsuit. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to claim payments for your hernia mesh injury losses, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Contact us today, and let’s get started fighting for your payments -- and justice.
Free Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Evaluation or Call Nationwide Toll Free 1-800-468-4878